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Verizon Reveals Plans For "C Block" Airwaves 54

Posted by Zonk
from the glad-they-all-have-our-best-interests-at-heart dept.
eldavojohn writes "Now that Verizon has beaten Google in the 'block C' spectrum auction, what are they going to do with it? Well, as of today they've revealed their plans for world domination: they plan to speed up wireless internet connections. It may come as no surprise that they'll also be making this available for other manufacturer's devices. AT&T plans to do the same with their auction winnings, 'AT&T was second to Verizon, winning $6 billion in spectrum licenses, which it also plans to use for high-speed Internet service. But its executives said they didn't bid for the portion subject to the open-access rules. The parts it did land cost AT&T nearly three times as much per unit of spectrum than the portion Verizon bought.'"
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Verizon Reveals Plans For "C Block" Airwaves

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  • by 26199 (577806) * on Saturday April 05, 2008 @01:36PM (#22973880) Homepage

    ...for wireless communication. News at 11!

    • by Vectronic (1221470) on Saturday April 05, 2008 @01:42PM (#22973912)
      lol... indeed, you should be modded to +5MHz and the topic closed.
    • by kesuki (321456)
      Really UHF TV signal to be used for wireless... and frankly one got a little less than 3 UHF channels worth of spectrum, and the other got a little more than 2 channels worth of spectrum.

      AT&T got one chunk, and verizon got another chunk, (there was 2MHZ of spectrum difference not sure who got the smaller slice) but this will be used for digital data transfer in 4G phones... each full channel of spectrum can broadcast more than a full channel of 1080i Possibly 1080P but wiki didn't say how many less HZ d
      • by kesuki (321456)
        math 8 GB DVD ~= 110 minutes (at least that's the number i used) * 6 = 1080P but this doesn't take into account the larger spectrum block C has over 2 DTV signals broadcasting 1080i but i was very generous on size per minute to compensate (guesstimating) also i didn't differentiate between 2MHz difference in bandwidth (it's around 20%) so 20% more would mean that the larger bandwidth winner got 20% more bandwidth, and in general it means that since 17 UHF channels were auctioned off in 5 blocks, there was
        • by kesuki (321456)
          whoops math error. big one gah, MB/second NOT gigabit/second off by a factor of 1000 ouch, only in comparing wireless internet to OC-carriers, figured it out while reworking my sig.
          • by kesuki (321456)
            blah and the wireless in in bytes, not bits, so now i'm off on 2 posts, and don't know the exact factor to which i screwed the pooch on this one... 494 mbit/second for the total 5 blocks, but part of it is for government use.. well, 66% of an OC-12 is still not bad...
      • Here's a picture. [harvard.edu] For comparison, 802.11a/g gets up to ~48 megabits/s out of 20MHz of bandwidth.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          FYI, don't say picture and link to a PDF. It can be an unpleasant surprise.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by kesuki (321456)
          actually the wiki says 22 MHZ and there are 13 channels with 2mhz apart from each other and many devices can produce interference.. (microwaves most notably, other 2.4 ghz stuff like phones etc s well)

          so they can't get the full 54 mbits because of interference.

          so if they were using the same technology and had less interference they would get roughly 150 mbit/second a far cry from the 500 mbit suggested by vague non specific wiki's on broadcast technologies.

          I'd think the 700-800 mhz bandwidth is significantl
          • by cymen (8178)

            I'd say this means digital TV is all using mpeg-4 encoding. either that or TV channels are so clear due to FCC regs that they get double the bandwidth of a polluted 2.4 ghz frequency

            If by "digital TV" you mean broadcast digital (ATSC) then they actually use MPEG2:

            What exactly is ATSC? [hdtvprimer.com]

            They also use multiple MPEG2 streams identified by different pids so that they can squeeze more subchannels in. Our local PBS station (Madison, Wisconsin) actually broadcasts 5 channels with 2 of them occasionally featuring HDTV programming. At some forums those users with the larger HDTV screens have complained about the quality "stolen" but too many subchannels from the HDTV streams (not in regards to t

          • actually the wiki says 22 MHZ and there are 13 channels with 2mhz apart from each other and many devices can produce interference.. (microwaves most notably, other 2.4 ghz stuff like phones etc s well)

            Point being?

            so they can't get the full 54 mbits because of interference.

            This simply does not follow from above. My 802.11g hardware gets the full capacity all the time, how do you explain that?

            I was being generous when I mentioned 54Mbps. With more recent 11n equipment you can get far more in the same bandwidth.

            The point is to figure out what kind of throughputs we can expect from the C-blocks, so let's not compare with fancy short-range modulations.

            so if they were using the same technology and had less interference they would get roughly 150 mbit/second a far cry from the 500 mbit suggested by vague non specific wiki's on broadcast technologies.

            Interference has nothing to do with it. If they use the same technology they would get the same bitrate. For a

            • by kesuki (321456)
              Well the thing is I figured out the reason why DTV Broadcasts get more bandwidth than wireless A/G etc.. It's simple. They ARE Broadcasts. one way, instant double the bandwidth. so, yeah if you're doing BROADCASTING then yes, you get double the bandwidth of 2-way communications.

              so it's not shocking at all that a 1 way broadcast would get double the bandwidth of a 2-way communication system. So now, I'm fairly sure that the 62mhz of wireless spectrum has around 300 megabits capacity, and how much the se
  • It looks like nobody really cares what Verizon does, considering there are no posts here.
    • by kesuki (321456)
      no they're too busy digging in their D&D manuals making character sheets as per tacos commands on the last article.

      to stay on topic: the openness Helps verizon, IMO that means people can make laptop wireless devices and don't have to be in lockstep with what verizon wants wants such devices to be etc... at the end of the day that means in markets where verizon is a small fish, the 'big fish' can set up a deal with verizon for all it's customers, can still use their own phones laptop wireless/home wirele
  • to switch carriers. It's facinating though that AT&T paid significantly more than Verizon did for its block. The price of going proprietary?
    • Re:Maybe it's time (Score:4, Informative)

      by kesuki (321456) on Saturday April 05, 2008 @01:55PM (#22973988) Journal
      AT&T got it's C-block spectrum in a Buyout not at auction. At auction they won B-block spectrum...

      http://www.informationweek.com/news/mobility/3G/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=207001878 [informationweek.com]

      and they plan to roll out early 4G phones and towers before 4G standards are done and who knows what kind of problems that will expose in the new standards and technology.
    • Re:Maybe it's time (Score:5, Insightful)

      by CajunArson (465943) on Saturday April 05, 2008 @01:59PM (#22974010) Journal
      It's not really fascinating so much as it is logical. Why pay more for something you won't have exclusive control over? The balance here is that Verizon has agreed to give up exclusivity, in exchange for not having to pay as much for the spectrum. As reported here earlier, Google was actually pushing up bids just to make the reserve price for the spectrum. Even though I think the bids were sealed, I'm pretty sure Verizon had a good clue that it was Google that was pushing up the bids on the C-band, and it would be in Verizon's interest for it to at least own the band even if it would not have exclusive control over devices on the band.
  • by QuietLagoon (813062) on Saturday April 05, 2008 @01:44PM (#22973928)
    Verizon has beaten Google

    Why create the semblance of a fight where one did not exist? All google really wanted was open air-waves.

    Verizon didn't beat google, Verizon played right into google's hand.

    • by zappepcs (820751)
      And here is to hoping that the final outcome of this powerplay auction move is actually good for "us" the consumers.

      I don't use Verizon, but know people who do. Their FIOS service is a large jump forward over cable, or would be if they did it right. The wireless AP they provide is less than optimal, and if you don't use their version of a 'standard' Windows installation it seems they are completely clueless as to how to help you or even support your setup.

      Hopefully, with their auction win, they will begin t
    • Hmmm... Google manipulated an auction so that they could have access to the air-waves without spending money, while costing a competitor billions of dollars.

      I'm so glad they told us that they aren't evil!

      Seriously, this should have been done with a Vickrey auction [wikipedia.org] in order to prevent this sort of thing. If the theories that Google simply bid to drive up the price but were careful to not win the auctions, then their participation in the auction is not in good faith. If supported by evidence, it's

    • by rtb61 (674572)
      Google didn't want to buy anything, it simply was a dirt cheap fell good marketing campaign, where the news sites carried google advertising for free.
  • by Doug52392 (1094585) on Saturday April 05, 2008 @02:01PM (#22974018)
    Wireless Internet on cell phones is completely useless right now. Sure, it would be a great convience to use the full Internet on your phone, but there is a huge problem here: phone companies are quick and eager to start these new services, but most customers are still on those dumb "1 cent per kb" deals! They are upgrading the technology, but not the business model.

    If Verizon, or any cell phone company for that matter want to ever succeed in making these services popular, they have to change their lame fees. 1 cent per kilobyte, or fees like that, were good back in the days of GPRS when all you had was a text based Internet on phones, but this simply won't do now that you can easily transfer over a dollar in kilobytes in 1 website!

    I don't even bother using the Internet or text messages on my older phone, waaaay to expensive!

    So if these companies want to ever hope to attract consumers to use the Internet services that would come out of this, they have to change their lame business model, or they will lose money.
    • Hmmm, I'm on unlimited evdo, I know sprint has a completely unlimited minutes/texts/MB/emails/etc plan for $100, and I was under the impression AT&T did as well?

      That's perfectly fine that you don't use the internet on your phone, but al ot of people--including millions of iphone users--do use it!

      What's the problem?
      • by Shatrat (855151)
        I sell sprint and ATT phones working my way through school.
        ATT's 99 dollars a month plan only covers voice. You still pay 15 cents per text message and you pay per kilobyte for medianet (which means you dont use it at all or you get pounded).
        Verizon's is the same way AFAIK

        If only sprint had real phones (GSM) I would use them in a heartbeat. The CDMA phones they do offer are more expensive than their GSM counterparts unfortunately, and many of them tend to be buggier as well.
    • I have unlimited data transfers, and can use my cell (technically a smart phone) to tether to my PC with no extra costs, provided I follow the terms of service. Basically, no BitTorrent or other P2P style apps.

      It's really convenient when the cable modem goes out and I need to get online, or if I'm on a train.

      It's reasonably fast, and the price isn't bad, with a nearly-unlimited plan. I'm stoked about the outcome, if Verizon's offerings fall flat with the open platform then AT&T should have something a
    • I will be working in a remote area without access to the internet so im looking into buying a cellphone with unlimited access then just plug that puppy into my laptop maybe avoiding the use of an aircard. I did some looking yesterday and AT&T would basically charge 60 a mo for that and its a 5gig limit. Which is extremely unlikely to go over even if you used it as a home connection. I dont have access to At&T's broadband (only edge) in that area so im not going with it.

      Verizon has the same thing ex
      • by Dhalka226 (559740)

        You should note that in some (all?) cases, this sort of behavior is prohibited by their Terms of Service. I don't even think it would be particularly hard to identify users doing this based on data usage and usage patterns. They may throttle you back to nothing or simply turn your service off altogether, so I wouldn't plan on that with a phone/contract that is important to you. I don't know if they bother yet, but there's no guarantee they won't later.

    • Wireless Internet on cell phones is completely useless right now. Sure, it would be a great convience to use the full Internet on your phone, but there is a huge problem here: phone companies are quick and eager to start these new services, but most customers are still on those dumb "1 cent per kb" deals! They are upgrading the technology, but not the business model.

      That's not entirely true, as evidenced by Verizon's awesome "$0.49/MB past your allowance" plan [evdoinfo.com]. <sarcasm>Wow, thanks Verizon!!</sarc

      • Meh. Surf through a proxy that renders the page internally to get the location of text boxes, then strips the markup and flows ascii text approximately into said boxes using tabs as needed (or sans tabs, even).

        I'll never understand why short one-page text files should occupy tens of kilobytes.
        • Meh. Surf through a proxy that renders the page internally to get the location of text boxes, then strips the markup and flows ascii text approximately into said boxes using tabs as needed (or sans tabs, even).

          Meh. Perhaps you haven't noticed, but in the current century, people use their internet service for a variety of things that cannot be adequately represented as ASCII text.

          • My point is that there is a *lot* of wasted space. Even if you wanted to keep all of the same markup, verbatim, you'd be much better off compressing it before sending it down the line, bandwidth wise. (CSS are probably static enough to require very little server overhead)

            In a sense, we've got a glut of bandwidth.

            Sure, $.02/kb is steep for bandwidth hogging uses, but many uses have a fair bit of fluff that can be cut out, and if you have a burning desire for the remainder, I'd suggest getting one of the "un
  • One of the most obnoxious things to me about my cellphone service (Verizon) is how crappy voice calls sound compared to a regular telephone. It's nice to be able to use the internet on one's phone, but it would be nice if the feature of the phone that I'm using 90% of the time were to sound at least as clear as a landline. And with the signal transmitted digitally, I can't imagine that it would use up that much of the new available bandwidth...
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by davidphogan74 (623610)
      It could be your phone as well. I have Verizon also and the call quality is excellent for me.
      • I was about to say the same thing. My wife has Verizon (I have Sprint, provided by my employer) and she has great call quality. I guess it's a YMMV thing.
      • by magnamous (25882)
        I don't think so. This is based on my experience from now back to 2002, mainly in NYC and California (but lots of other places too), using several phones from multiple manufacturers. My complaint is also based on the experience of a few of my friends who also have Verizon and their complaints about voice quality.

        Don't get me wrong - when my phone has 4 bars, it's definitely tolerable, but it's nowhere near as good as a landline. Voices on a landline have a fuller, richer tonal quality and a wider volume ran
        • by edwdig (47888)
          Don't get me wrong - when my phone has 4 bars, it's definitely tolerable, but it's nowhere near as good as a landline.

          It's like that on all cell phones. Landline phones don't compress the audio, however, they only transmit the audio on certain frequencies, generally limited to around the frequencies human voices are in.

          Cellphones use lossy compression optimized for voice. Music gets slaughtered by it by design. Cell phones aren't intended to have great audio quality, they're intended to get good enough qual
  • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Saturday April 05, 2008 @03:19PM (#22974412)
    Verizon (and all the other Telcos and ISPs) want us in C-Block all right. Right next to that big guy named "Bubba" with the twinkle in his eye.

    Seriously, I don't believe a word of what's coming out of Verizon's collective mouth. I really hope I'm wrong, but "open access" and "Telco" really don't belong in the same sentence.
  • by AtariDatacenter (31657) on Saturday April 05, 2008 @03:25PM (#22974460)
    What I thought was interesting is that in some big markets, Verizon purchased some A block or B block, and in some cases, both. That's in addition to their C block. They're clearly looking to make sure that they're going to have a lot of available bandwidth.

    NYC, Chicago, and LA, they ended up with A, B, and C block purchases. In some other large markets (Washington DC, Dallas, SanFran) they picked up either an A or a B in addition to their nationwide C block.

    So they're certainly thinking about capacity and customer density for their future networks.

    I kind of wonder, though, to what extent they've squeezed the amount of bandwidth that AT&T is going to have in those major cities. I don't have the details on their previous acquisitions to know for sure, but Verizon certainly took some potential capacity away from them.
    • by awj223 (1252212)
      In LA at least, Verizon has 25 MHz of Cellular 850 MHz, 10 MHz of PCS 1900 MHz, no AWS 1700 MHz spectrum, and now 46 MHz of 700 MHz spectrum, for a total of 81 MHz.

      But AT&T has the other 25 MHz Cellular 850 MHz license, 20 MHz of PCS 1900 MHz, 30 MHz of AWS 1700 MHz, and 12 MHz of 700 MHz. So despite Verizon winning more spectrum in the latest auction, AT&T still holds 6 MHz more spectrum in the LA area.
      • If you sourced that from a database somewhere, I'd love to access it.

        I don't know the answer to this, but do you think they [Vz & T] are actually going to try to use all those frequencies on a next generation device, or will they stick to 700MHz or possibly 700MHz + 850MHz?
  • by horati0 (249977) on Saturday April 05, 2008 @04:09PM (#22974746) Journal
    I've been c-blocked by many a young lady in an effort to gain open-access.
  • Verizon and AT&T networks have always been open. They even brag about it. You can easily buy a handset from a variety of manufacturers and both Verizon and AT&T will hook you right up.

    The problem is when these carriers contract for their own custom handsets they lock these models to their own networks. That makes it hard to switch carriers without buying a new phone.

    The networks are open already. It's the products that use them which are not. So, what really did Google do? I don't know. Google

    • Verizon and AT&T networks have always been open. They even brag about it. You can easily buy a handset from a variety of manufacturers and both Verizon and AT&T will hook you right up.

      Sure, but that was their choice, not a legal requirement, and they could choose to lock it down just as easily if they felt that was in their best interests. The would, too. Google obviously wants to expand into the mobile market, but doesn't want to be dependent upon the likes of AT&T (really, SBC) and Verizon

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